State of California: Solid Waste & Recycling Mandates 

Senate Bill (SB) 1383


In September 2016, Governor Edmund Brown Jr. set methane emissions reduction targets for California (SB 1383 Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) in a statewide effort to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCP). The target is to: (1) reduce organic waste disposal 75% by 2024, and (2) rescue enough organics for people to eat at least 20% of currently disposed surplus food by 2025.


Food Recovery Mandates 

SB 1383 requires certain food businesses to donate the maximum amount of edible food they would otherwise dispose to food recovery organizations. The law phases food donors in under two tiers - those businesses that fall within the first tier, are required to donate starting in 2022. Those businesses that fall within the second tier, are required to donate starting in 2024. Mandated food donors can help their communities now by starting to work with local food banks, food pantries, and other food recovery organizations and services. 


If you are a business that is considered to fall within these tiers by the State of California, Food Finders is a local organization that can help you meet the mandates outlined by SB 1383. To contact Food Finders, please contact Chris Wong at (562) 283-1400 extension 105 or via email at
Click here to visit the Food Finders website

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's):

Do the regulations require single-family residences and multifamily complexes to subscribe to organics collection and recycle both green waste and food waste beginning January 1, 2022? 
Yes, the regulations require jurisdictions to provide organic waste collection services to all single-family and multifamily residences of all sizes and businesses that generate organic waste. 
Can residents provide their own containers for organics collection? 
Jurisdictions or its designee (like a hauler) must provide containers to the generator. Containers provided by the residents themselves would not comply with the regulations. Providing a container is an inextricable part of providing a collection service. Requirements for local jurisdictions to collect and recover organic waste from their residential and commercial generators are critical for the state's efforts to keep organic waste out of the landfills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Further, jurisdictions are in a position to obtain uniform collection containers with standardized colors for specialized suppliers, whereas individual generators are not. If jurisdictions are not required to provide compliant containers, generators are left to comply with the color requirements on their own and may have a difficult time obtaining standardize containers due to the whims of market availability of properly colored containers through hardware stores, supply stores, or other business that have no obligations to stock compliant container colors. This sets up an untenable, large-scale regulatory noncompliance problem. 

The requirement for jurisdictional provision of collection containers is also necessary from an efficient enforcement perspective. Placing the compliance responsibility on generators would create an unnecessary burdensome enforcement model. Ensuring container color compliance would necessitate inspections of generators by the jurisdiction, potentially involving thousands of homes or businesses. Furthermore, potentially broad numbers of individual generators may be subject to enforcement if compliant containers are not reasonably available for purchase (see preceding paragraph). Instead of this burdensome model, CalRecycle finds that a single for of enforcement with the jurisdiction is more efficient and equitable. Jurisdictions are in a position to obtain uniform collection containers with standardize colors from specialized suppliers where individual generators are not. 
Who is the responsible entity for implementing, enforcing, and reporting for SB 1383? 
The individual city, county, or special district which provide solid waste collection services are ultimately responsible for all compliance measures, and also expected to provide enforcement action across the jurisdiction.
What are the target dates for SB 1383 set by the State of California? 
January 1, 2022 - jurisdictions are to provide organics recycling services to businesses and residents 
January 1, 2024 - jurisdictions shall take progressive enforcement actions against non-compliant entities 
January 1, 2025 - State to achieve 75% reduction of organics disposal 
                             State to recover minimum of 20% disposed edible food for human consumption
What if I have space constraint challenges at my property? 
Certain businesses and multi-family complexes of five units or more may qualify for waivers from these mandatory programs however, only those who request and receive a wavier from the City are exempt from mandatory participation. If a waiver is not approved by the City, your business or property will be required to participate in the mandated services. 

To submit an application for a waiver, please complete the following application and submit to the Development Services Department for review: click here to download the SB 1383 Solid Waste & Recycling Regulation - Waiver Request Form.

Assembly Bill (AB) 1826

In October 2014, the California Governor signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1826, requiring businesses to recycle their organic waste on and after April 1, 2016, depending on the amount of waste they generate per week. This law also requires that on and after, January 1, 2016, local jurisdictions across the state implement an organic waste recycling program to divert organic waste generated by businesses, including multifamily residential dwellings that consist of five or more units (please note, however, that multifamily dwellings are not required to have a food waste diversion program).

Organic waste (also referred to as organics throughout this resource) means food waste, green waste, landscape and pruning waste, nonhazardous wood waste, and food-soiled paper waste that is mixed in with food waste. This law phases in the mandatory recycling of commercial organics over time, while also offering an exemption process for rural counties. In particular, the minimum threshold of organic waste generation by businesses decreases over time, which means an increasingly greater proportion of the commercial sector will be required to comply.

Assembly Bill (AB) 341

State legislation made recycling mandatory for certain businesses and apartment buildings beginning July 1, 2012. All businesses that produce 4 cubic yards or more of trash per week and multi-family properties of five units or more (such as apartment buildings) are required to recycle. 

In 2019 this threshold was lowered - now, any commercial property with 2-cubic yards or more of waste per-week is required to have a recycling program. 

Make sure your business has arranged for recycling services. If you are a Property Manager or Business Manager and have not established recycling service, please contact  Universal Waste Systems (UWS) at (800) 631-7016.

  1. Michelle Müller

    Management Analyst

Related Documents

Additional Resources:

About Universal Waste Systems (UWS) - Click here to learn more about UWS

CalRecycle  - Click here to learn more about CalRecycle 

CalRecycle, I Recycle Smart CampaignClick here to learn more about the I Recycle Smart Campaign

Food Finders - Click here to learn more about Food Finders

OC Landfill - Click here to learn more about OC Waste & Recycling

Universal Waste Systems (UWS) - Los Alamitos Webpage - Click here to visit the UWS website with City specific information